What Subramanian Swamy said on nuking Pakistan as pre-emptive strike

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BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Friday lent his support to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after a statement by the latter hinted at a considerable shift India’s nuclear doctrine. After visiting Pokhran, the site of India’s two nuclear tests, Singh had said that the future of India’s ‘no first use’ policy on nuclear weapons will depend on future circumstances. Swamy went a step further and suggested that the central government must nuke Pakistan as a pre-emptive strike if intelligence inputs indicated that Pakistan was planning a nuclear attack against India.

Subramanian Swamy

Swamy wrote on Twitter, “Rajnath is correct as to warn about possible review of Vajpayee’s no first use of n weapons since Pak leadership is more crazed today than in 1998. First use is required now on if we get credible evidence that Pak faced with ignominy may go for first strike. We must pre-empt that.”



Swamy later explained his rationale while speaking to a TV channel. He told Times Now that the ‘no first use’ policy was adopted when General Pervez Musharraf ruled Pakistan. “There’s some input that it’s possible that jihadis might storm into the nuclear facility area (of Pakistan) and try to take control. It’s not that easy, but the fact is that there’s a possibility.”

He added, “We can’t say that ‘oh let Pakistan first bomb us and kill 200 million people and then we will reply and knock out Pakistan forever.’ Because that will completely devastate us, wreck all our electrical system across the country.”

In 2016, Swamy had asked 10 crore Indians to be prepared to die. He had told ABP News TV channel, “In the event of a nuclear war, Pakistani nuclear bombs can kill not more than 10 crore people. We are the country of 112 crore population. But our nuclear bombs can wipe off Pakistan altogether.”

When reminded if he was asking 10 crore Indians to be prepared to be killed, Swamy said, “I think the chance of a nuclear war is very low. But should it happen, 10 crore people should be prepared to be killed. Our soldiers die while protecting the border. Indian is the only country where officers to the rank of captains and brigadiers put themselves at the frontline. If they can die for the country, why can’t us.”

Taking to Twitter amidst growing tension between India and Pakistan, Singh had written, “Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.”

In November 2016, the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too had questioned India’s ‘No First Use’ doctrine. Speaking at a book release function, Parrikar had said, “Why a lot of people say that India has No First Use policy. Why should I bind myself to a… I should say I am a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly. This is my thinking. Some of them may immediately tomorrow flash that Parrikar says that nuclear doctrine has changed. It has not changed in any government policy but my concept, I am also an individual.”

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